I'm loading the sixth chapter while writing this review.
Gisele Alain caught my eye when I first browsed the comic book sections at the bookstore. The cover reminds me immediately of Emma, much so the synopsis. It's really interesting, a young girl and the owner of a Victorian era apartment, opening a jack of all trades business. At first I wasn't so sure about the drawing, after all a lush cover does not always guarantee the illustrations nor the story. But this one is definitely a rare gem.
I much prefer a quiet story with interesting characters and exploration rather than a romantic and conflict-filled story with high dramatic tensions and lots of tears. This one belongs in the first category, right with some of my favorite mangas such as Bokura Ga Ita, Kimi Ni Todoke, and Emma. In fact, Gisele Alain reminds me so much of Emma in terms of drawing style (filled with beautiful intricate details) and fascinating characters. The plot is episodic and not that fast paced, filled with lots of interesting setting details and character quirks that work wonders for the characters involved... but might not necessarily be everyone's cup of tea. Like Emma, it's subtle but has many wonderful moments that make the story emotional and alive, but not in a dramatic sort of way. I love it.
Gisele is also not a stereotypical character. She's naturally curious, quirky and decisive. She's also quick-witted and a kind person at heart, so it's interesting to tag along in her journeys and watch her grow around the new people she meets along the way. Definitely a keeper and will buy more volumes as soon as they come out.